Latest industry data estimates that the core music industry made an estimated economic contribution - also known as Gross Value Added or GVA - of about £4.1bn to the UK economy in 2015 and supported 119,000 jobs. 

Five of the world's top selling music artists in 2015 were British (Adele, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, One Direction and Sam Amith) and UK music generated £2.2bn in export revenues in 2015. 

The total audience for live music in the UK was 27.7m with 24m attending concerts and 3.7m going to music festivals.

The £4.1bn of music revenues in the UK market break down as: Musicians, composers, songwriters & lyricists (£2bn); Live Music (£904m); Recorded Music (£610m); Music Publishing (£412m), Music Producers, Recording Studios & Staff (£119m), Music Representatives (£92m).

The £2.2bn of UK export music revenues break down as: Musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists (£946m); Music Publishing (£520m); Recorded Music (£360m); Music Representatives (£268m); Live Music (£57m); Music Producers, Recording, Studios & Staff (£24m).

Source: Measuring Music, UK Music.

Published: September 2016


Music tourism


The UK's music attractions including festivals, concert venues and musical heritage sites, generated an estimated £3.7bn of direct and indirect spend in 2015. (i)

It is calculated that 10.4m people journeyed to musical events - 'music tourists' - including approximately 767000 from overseas - in 2015. (i)

The average spend by international music tourists has increased by 13 per cent between 2011 and 2014, whereas UK exports have grown by less than 2 per cent during this period. (ii)

Sources: (i)  Measuring Music 2016, UK Music; (ii) Wish you were Here 2015, UK Music.


UK Music industry data


  • Annual income rose to £730.5m in the UK music industry in 2013, the first increase in four years. Digital revenues accounted for 50 per cent of total industry sales. The biggest growth was in streaming music and total digital sales.(1)
  • The UK market is the world’s biggest consumer of music relative to its population size and tops the global table in terms of album purchases per capita.(2)
  • There are over 7,480 businesses in the UK music industry. Eighty per cent of these businesses employ fewer than five people. (3)
  • The world's three major recorded music businesses have a significant presence in the UK: Universal Music Group, SonyBMG and Warner Music Group. The UK is also home to the world’s largest independent in the UK’s Beggar’s Group.

1. BPI Yearbook 2014.

2. BPI Yearbook 2013

3. Creative & Cultural Skills.


Find out more about the UK's live music sector here.

Read about the growth in digital music revenues.